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What can I really expect from my L4-L5 Foraminotomy?

21 year old female with L4-L5 herniation due to rear end car accident, radicular pain in right glute, hip, leg, and foot. Herniation occurred 1/25/13 and I have exhausted all other methods of treatment for the last 10+ months.
I'm seeing a lot on this site that is totally freaking me out! My surgery that I have planned is 1/6/14 and it is supposed to be a very minimally invasive surgery. Has ANYONE had this surgery before?? I was just planning on being off work for 2 weeks, should I plan for more? They aren't even supposed to be cutting through muscle, just moving it out of the way. I am really scared about the level of pain I'm going to be in and being immobile. I'm 21 so maybe I'll heal more quickly... Can anybody give me some insight into what I can really expect as far as how tough the recovery is? I'm really nervous and this is my first surgical procedure ever.


  • FloridaGuyFFloridaGuy Posts: 8
    edited 12/04/2013 - 2:42 PM
    I'm also having a foraminomy (and a microD and a laminotomy or something like that) in a week and a half. I'm curious as well to hear what to expect.

    I just wanted to say that my doctor also said I would be able to return to work 2 weeks later, so if both your doctor and mine say the same thing, it must be close to the average time people take to recover.

    Good luck!
  • ex-gymnasteex-gymnast Posts: 111
    edited 12/13/2013 - 3:49 PM
    I'm having the same surgery at the same level on Jan 8, 2014. My doctor also gave me the 2 week timeframe. I had a huge fusion surgery in June so I'm only going to be 7 months out of my other surgery. I'm really nervous. Hope it will go as planned for all of us
    Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015
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